Writing Wednesdays: The Best Ways to Respond to Criticism of Your Novel – via authorbethreekles on Tumblr

Hopefully this post will apply to those of you who are
posting your work online as well as to any published writers reading this! I
myself have dealt with negative feedback and here are some things I’ve learnt.


Sometimes the best thing to do is ignore it.

Yup, you read that
right. Ignore it. Hell, not everybody will like the same book, just like not
everyone will like the same movie. You can’t expect everyone to love your book:
obviously, if someone is reading your book and doesn’t like it, the solution is
for them to stop reading.

If they carry on reading even if they leave persistent comments telling
you how bad your book is, ignore it.

Seriously, if someone is putting that
much effort into reading a book (unless they’re reviewing it on request) that
they hate, why are they still reading?

Listen to what the feedback is actually saying: is it a Negative Nelly,
or are we talking about constructive criticism?

If you’ve actually received
some constructive criticism within an otherwise negative comment, pay attention
to it. Constructive criticism is always useful and helpful, and that is one
type of criticism you should be taking notice of.

Laugh about it!

Seriously, one time I had such a scathing review of
my book (the bloke called it a ‘category five cliché tornado) that I found it
hilarious, and shared it with all my mates.

Don’t pay attention to Goodreads reviews.

Apparently. At YALC last
year, and every time I’ve met an author since, they tell me to stay far away
from Goodreads reviews of my books. And the horror on their faces when I said I
had looked at my Goodreads reviews… Well, just – just maybe don’t pin
everything on them.

Look at who left the comment, because they may not be your target

The vast majority of any negative comments/reviews I get on my
books are left by middle-aged women who, half the time, start their review by
saying ‘I don’t usually read this sort of book… But I wanted to see if it would
be okay for my teenage daughter… and OMG teen drinking and *furtive looks*
…sex… OMG no this is not acceptable for my teenage daughter just awful’. You
get my point. Sometimes, the negative comments are from people to whom your
book wouldn’t really appeal to anyway.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the good comments.

Literally, when
I was on Wattpad, I could have one negative comment in five hundred, and it
would still be the one I focused on late at night. So don’t do that to
yourself. Remember to go easy on yourself – one bad comment doesn’t mean
anything if you’re getting way more positive comments.

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